Monday, December 11, 2017

Wales v Andorra: Party time for Coleman´s history makers

Having sealed their place at the European Championship for the first time on Saturday, Wales can expect Millennium Stadium to be bouncing when they welcome Andorra to Cardiff on Tuesday.

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Bosnia-Herzegovina mattered little in the end for Chris Coleman’s side, who made it to Euro 2016 courtesy of Israel’s loss against Cyprus in Group B. 

It means Wales are assured of a top-two spot as they look ahead to their first major tournament in 58 years – Coleman having continued the fine work of Gary Speed in guiding the nation to the Euros.

The current crop, which includes global stars such as Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, have the potential to be a force in France next year and will be keen to sign off a historic campaign with maximum points.

However, rock-bottom Andorra have proven tricky opposition for Wales with a Bale double needed to ensure a comeback victory in the reverse fixture 13 months ago.

With top billing in the group a possibility and a jubilant atmosphere to look forward to on their playing return in Cardiff, Coleman made no secret of his pride at Wales’ achievements.

“I’ve wanted this not only as a player and a manager but a fan, as a child growing up,” he said.

“This is new territory now. The players deserve to enjoy this new experience.

“Everyone back home deserves to have a smile on their face. They’ve been waiting a long, long time.

“In my career this is the biggest thing I have ever achieved. This will not sink in for a while. I’m hugely proud to be manager of Wales.”

Bale and Ramsey may have stolen the headlines over recent months, but centre-back Ashley Williams has also attracted the plaudits with impressive defensive displays.

“I said at the start of the campaign that it would be the proudest moment of my career if we could qualify and it is,” he said.

“The Andorra game is going to be a nice game for us now. We can celebrate and hopefully we can win the game and have a nice night after it.”

Wales will seal top spot with victory, provided Belgium drop points at home to Israel, while Andorra will once again go in search of their first point in European qualification.

Ahead of their 50th European Championship qualifier, Koldo Alvarez’s side were beaten 4-1 by Belgium on Saturday and have never won a competitive away game.

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